What Does “Tenken” Imply?

The phrase “Tenken” is actually a not often used time period within the English vocabulary, however it’s a time period that has a that means for a really particular group of individuals. The phrase – stolen from Japanese and unfold via the anime-watching subculture in English-speaking international locations – has layers and layers in its that means. A few of them are seemingly contradictory in nature, so to know the phrase it’s considerably necessary to know its historical past.

Let me begin with a couple of standard definitions you will discover on the web:

  • Heavenly sword. To have nice ability with the sword — to such an extent that the ability can solely be a godsend.’
  • “To maneuver, suppose or act with divine pace and accuracy.”
  • “Regarding swordsmanship – to behave or transfer with divine swiftness.”

These all might be traced again to how the time period Tenken turned standard within the US, particularly via the Japanese anime collection generally known as “Rurouni Kenshin”. On this anime, the character Seta Soujiro, an 18-year-old swordsman, fights with out emotion, ardour or anger. This makes him virtually utterly unpredictable on the battlefield. His pace, precision and ability are second to none. Certainly, Soujiro isn’t defeated in fight, even by the collection’ best heroes. He’s known as “the Tenken”.

This offers us a couple of different definitions of what Tenken can imply. It will probably imply:

  • Somebody who’s brutally efficient.
  • Somebody who’s extremely quick, extremely proficient, or extremely good.
  • Somebody who reveals no feelings in any respect.

However on this completely implausible anime collection, Seta Soujiro’s character is not simply an impassive grasp swordsman. As his story unfolds, we study extra about his tragic previous and what he hides underneath the impassive masks.

He’s torn inside. Inside he simply needs to be weak. We see this in his last battle with Kenshin (the protagonist of the collection) as Soujiro begins to launch his feelings and has this inner dialogue:

If it is good to avoid wasting individuals who had been weak, why did not you shield me? Why did not anybody shield me?

Then he says, their swords clasped collectively, “You failed to guard me. If what you say is true, why did not you shield me?’ Seta begins to have an enormous breakdown. He begins to wave and seize his head as he stumbles throughout the room screaming. As a consequence of this emotional breakdown, he loses the battle to Kenshin (however just isn’t killed).

We truly discover out that regardless of seeming like a totally callous killer, he’s this torn and delicate one who suppresses each little bit of emotion he has. His fixed smile is a masks in opposition to the remainder of the world and in opposition to his personal demons.

So we are able to add these definitions to our listing:

  • Somebody who pretends to not expertise feelings, however has a powerful emotional aspect.
  • Somebody who presents a troublesome look or false exterior to guard themselves from their very own demons or previous.

Within the aftermath of this battle, the Tenken decides he’ll go wandering to find who he actually is. He says:

“It is a bit unfair… In case you attempt to repair a brick constructing that was made the mistaken approach the primary time, it’s a must to tear the entire thing down earlier than you can begin; there is not any different approach as a result of brick is simply too robust .”

So we are able to additionally see Tenken as a time period meaning:

  • Somebody who’s searching for redemption or reality.
  • Somebody who wants to interrupt down and restore his id.
  • Somebody who needs to get higher at a excessive value.

All of these items are highly effective and significant to me, which is why I’ve adopted the title “Tenken” as a nickname in my on-line interactions. Even my weblog is known as after the Tenken – particularly, http://www.TenkenatHeart.com

And I. I’m Rob Tenken.

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